Americans still aren't having nearly enough babies, according to a government report released Wednesday, and we can all thank teenagers for the stubbornly low birth rate, which dipped for the fourth year in a row. 2011 saw a paltry four million births, though the drop-off (about one percent) wasn't as steep as the two or three percent in previous years.
Since America is used to being number one gold medal biggest muscles, belt buckles, and hats of any country since dinosaurs, declining birth rates come as something of a shock, especially when one considers that birth rates had been rising since the late 90s, peaking at an all-time, all-our-natural-resources-are-now-on-fire high of 4.3 million births. Most demographers blame the stagnant economy for being such a bummer that women or couples out of work or underemployed are preoccupied with problems other than birthing and raising ugly, smelly, money-devouring infants.
Among the most interesting components of the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: the birth rate for single women fell for the third straight year, while the birth rate for married women rose one percent; the birth rate for Hispanic women dropped a very steep six percent; and birth rates for teen moms, which have thankfully been falling since 1991, hit an all-time low in 2011, with 330,000, the fewest since 1946.
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